How to Feed Your Pet Iguana Without Breaking Your Piggy Bank account

Feeding your iguana

Anastasia the beautiful iguana

My little girl

Taking care of your iguana properly

Iguanas are very unusual creatures that have become one of the most popular pets. They are beautiful, inquisitve, and very smart animals with a robust attitude at times.

I purchased my iguana when she was just a hatchling, so taming her was not an issue. She came to me with Metabolic Bone Disease, which is a calcium deficiency that iguanas get, that causes them total paralysis until it is treated. She took a long time to recover and spent 7 months of her life being syringe fed Gerber baby food vegetables and fruits. But once she recovered from our vet giving her calcium, she has become a eating machine.

Iguanas are strictly herbivores, which basically means they are vegetarians. However buying fresh vegetables all the time can cost a fortune and you end up throwing it away more than using it.

Iguanas can be human garbage disposals and will eat anything, but if you feed them anything but vegetables and fruits, you will have one sick iguana.

I buy a bag of shredded collard greens about once every two weeks. I keep those in a lock lid container, because they will go bad very fast. I buy a bag of carrot sticks, which I just use for color enhancement (yes iguanas can see very well) and one bag of snap peas because they do not go bad quickly. Now comes the easy part. Since iguanas main diet consist of greens for the calcium, all the other foods that the green iguana society says they can eat, you can buy frozen and then they never go bad.

I buy frozen mango chunks, blueberries, squash, mixed vegetables, frozen peppers, okra, and since they can eat hibiscus flowers and leaves for a treat, I bought her a plant at Walmart for $4.99 and planted it in my back yard. The frozen squash I microwave for about 15 seconds and all the other stuff I just put in a glass of hot water to thaw while I'm cutting up her greens. Once in a while I will buy her some parsley or bok choy and mustard greens but these things don't last long in the fridge and can become expensive. I went from spending about 50 dollars a week to 50 monthly for my Anastasia.

Iguanas are creatures of habit and I can tell you that if I forget something in my iguanas bowl, she will throw out every bit of food.

Iguanas must have vegetables and fruit, but you dont have to break your wallet to feed them. Once you get them used to their routine do not change it.

If you have an iggy that is very aggressive they can be tamed. You have to handle them every single day.

I would suggest buying them from a hatchling, you will have better luck taming them, then if you buy one that is already grown. Please do not let your iguana free roam your home. They will eat anything on the floor and after having one iguana eat a carpet fiber and her bowels being severed that was enough lesson for me about letting iguanas free roam you home.

I am a reptile lover, my iguana gives me lots of laughs and even though I can't hug her, she loves to have her head and neck rubbed. Love your iguana today by feeding and caring for them properly.

What to feed your iguana

This is a list provided by the Green Iguana Society. It is to help you identify the important foods that they need daily compared to treats and occasional food. Included with this list is what each food contains. (Green Iguana Society) This list will give you not only the foods that are best for them but what nutrition it holds as well.


STAPLE - These foods are good to feed an iguana on a regular basis, but don't forget to rotate them.
OCCASIONAL - Best to feed these foods only on occasion. Overfeeding most of these foods can lead to serious health problems. Combined with a balanced mixture of staple foods on occasion (a few times a month) can provide an iguana the variety it needs.
TREAT - These foods work good as a treat or snack. Some of these foods can be included as a regular part of the diet, but most are only occasional treats.
TASTE OR COLOR ENHANCER - Occasionally added to a balanced mixture of foods to make the meal tastier and more interesting for the iguana.
RARELY OR NEVER - Due to poor nutritional content, this food item is okay if offered only rarely, along with other, more nutritious greens and veggies

Acorn squash is a good source of fiber. Rind should be discarded. Core and finely chop or shred. Ca:P 0.9:1 , Pro: 0.8%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 88%, Fiber: 1.5%

STAPLE VEGGIE Alfalfa STAPLE Apples Should be peeled, cored and finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.6:1 , Pro: 0.15%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 84.5%, Fiber: 1.9%

OCCASIONAL Asparagus is a very good source of protein. It should be finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.38:1 , Pro: 2.3%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2.1%

OCCASIONAL Bananas Only on occasion. Peels may also be fed, but only if they were organically grown. Ca:P 0.3:1 , Pro: 1%, Fat: 0.5%, Water: 75%, Fiber: 2.4%

OCCASIONAL Beets & beet greens High in oxalates, so it should only be fed occasionally. Beets should be finely chopped. Greens are best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Stems should be finely chopped or discarded. Beets: Ca:P 0.4:1 , Pro: 1.6%, Fat: 0.17%, Water: 87%, Fiber: 2.8% Beet greens: Ca:P 3:1 , Pro: 1.8%, Fat: 0.06%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 3.7%

OCCASIONAL Bell peppers Great for adding color and variety. This catagory includes red peppers, green peppers and other bell peppers. Should be cored and then finely chopped or shredded. (Nutritional information based on red peppers, but most other bell peppers are reasonably close to the same.) Ca:P 0.5:1 , Pro: 0.9%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2%

GREAT TASTE/COLOR ENHANCER Blackberries Great for treats and regular part of fruit content. Ca:P 1.5:1, Pro: 0.7%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 86%, Fiber: 5.3%

OCCASIONAL Bok choy Also known as or equivalent to Chinese cabbage, bok choi, pak choi, and various other names. High in goitrogens. Cut green portion into large pieces or strips. White portion may be discarded or finely chopped. Ca:P 2.8:1, Pro: 1.5%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 95%, Fiber: 1%

OCCASIONAL Broccoli High in oxalates and goitrogens and should only be fed on occasion. Cut into very small pieces or shred. Leaves can also be offered. Ca:P 0.7:1 , Pro: 3%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 91%, Fiber: 3%

OCCASIONAL Brussels Sprouts High in goitrogens and should only be fed on occasion. Should be finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.6:1 , Pro: 3.3%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 86%, Fiber: 3.8%

OCCASIONAL Butternut squash Very good staple vegetable and excellent source of fiber. Should be peeled, cored and finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.6:1, Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 94%

STAPLE VEGGIE Cabbage High in goitrogens and should only be fed on occasion. Finely chop or shred. Ca:P 2:1 , Pro: 1.5%, Fat: 0.27%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2.3%

OCCASIONAL Cactus leaves (prickly pear) High in calcium. Should be finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 2.32:1, Pro: 0.8%, Fat: 0.5%

STAPLE FRUIT Cantelope Should be cored, rinds discarded and finely chopped. Great source of additional water content. Ca:P 0.7:1, Pro: 0.9%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 90%, Fiber: 0.8%

OCCASIONAL Carrots Should be peeled and finely shredded. (Carrot tops can be high in oxalates and should only be fed on occasion.) Ca:P 0.6:1, Pro: 1%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 88%, Fiber: 3%

OCCASIONAL Cauliflower High in goitrogens and should only be fed occasionally. Should be finely chopped and shredded. Ca:P 1:2, Pro: 2%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2.5%

OCCASIONAL Celery Should be very finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 1.6:1 , Pro: 0.75%, Fat: 0.14%, Water: 95%, Fiber: 1.7%

OCCASIONAL Chicory greens (Escarole) Excellent choice for greens and high in calcium. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop, shred, or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 1:0.9, Pro: 1.7%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 4%

STAPLE GREEN (WHEN MIXED WITH OTHER GREENS) Collard greens Excellent choice for greens. High in calcium and somewhat high in goitrogrens. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop, shred, or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 14.5:1 , Pro: 2.5%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 91%, Fiber: 3.6%

STAPLE GREEN Coriander (cilantro) Good choice for an occasional green. High in oxalates. Finely chop. Ca:P 1.4:1 , Pro: 2.1%, Fat: 0.5%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2.8%

OCCASIONAL Corn Extremely low in calcium and high in phosphorus. Use sparingly and only if overall diet is loaded with calcium. Best if finely chopped. Ca:P 0.03:1 , Pro: 9.4%, Fat: 4.7%, Water: 10.4%

RARELY OR NEVER Cucumber Lacks in nutrition, but okay on occasion for additional water and flavor. Ca:P 0.7:1 , Pro: 0.7%, Fat: 0.18%, Water: 96%, Fiber: 0.8%

OCCASIONAL Dahlia Both flowers and leaves are okay to feed. Use caution and do not use plants that may have been treated with any pesticides or other chemicals.

GREAT TREAT Dandelion greens Excellent choice for greens and high in calcium. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop, shred, or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Use caution when using wild dandelion greens by making sure no pesticides or other chemicals have been used. Both the flowers and leaves are okay to feed. Ca:P 2.8:1, Pro: 2.7%, Fat: 0.7%, Water: 86%, Fiber: 3.5%

STAPLE GREEN Endive Excellent choice for greens and high in calcium. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop, shred, or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 1.86:1, Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.4%

STAPLE GREEN (WHEN MIXED WITH OTHER GREENS) Grapes High in oxalates. Should be crushed or chopped. Adult iguanas can eat whole grapes. Good source for additional water content. Ca:P 0.8:1, Pro: 0.7%, Fat: 0.6%, Water: 81%, Fiber: 1%

OCCASIONAL AND/OR TREAT Green beans Also known as snap beans. Good choice for staple vegetable. Should be finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 1:1 , Pro: 1.8%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 90%, Fiber: 3.4%

STAPLE VEGGIE Hibiscus Both flowers and leaves are okay to feed. Use caution and do not use plants that may have been treated with any pesticides or other chemicals.

GREAT TREAT Honeydew melon Should be cored, rinds discarded and finely chopped. Ca:P 0.6:1 , Pro: 0.5%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 90%, Fiber: 0.6%

OCCASIONAL Kabocha squash Should be peeled, cored and finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.6:1 , Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 94%, Fiber: 1.9%

STAPLE VEGGIE Kale High in oxalates and goitrogens, so it should only be fed on occassion. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop, shred, or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 2.4:1, Pro: 3.3%, Fat: 0.7%, Water: 84%, Fiber: 2%

OCCASIONAL Kiwi fruit Should be peeled, seeds removed, and finely chopped or crushed. Ca:P 0.7:1, Pro: 1%, Fat: 0.4% OCCASIONAL Lentils Best if cooked and finely chopped. Ca:P 0.14:1 , Pro: 9%, Fat: 0.5%, Water: 67%, Fiber: 22%

OCCASIONAL Lettuces Lettuces are very poor in overall nutritional value. Romaine - Ca:P 0.8:1 , Pro: 1.6%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 95%, Fiber: 1.7% Iceberg - Ca:P 1:1 , Pro: 1%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 96%, Fiber: 1.4% Loose leaf - Ca:P 0.4:1 , Pro: 1.3%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 94%, Fiber: 1.9%

RARELY OR NEVER Mango Should be peeled, pitted, and finely chopped or crushed. Ca:P 0.9:1, Pro: 0.5%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 82%, Fiber: 1.8%

STAPLE FRUIT Mushrooms Very high in phosphorus and should only be fed on occasion. Should be finely chopped. Ca:P 0.05:1 , Pro: 2.9%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 1.2%

OCCASIONAL Mustard greens Excellent choice for greens. High in calcium, but somewhat high in goitrogens. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 2.4:1, Pro: 2.7%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 91%, Fiber: 3.3%

STAPLE GREEN Nasturtiums Both flowers and leaves are okay to feed. Use caution and do not use plants that may have been treated with any pesticides or other chemicals

. GREAT TREAT Okra Should be finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 1.3:1, Pro: 2%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 90%, Fiber: 3.2%

STAPLE VEGGIE Papaya Good source of fiber. Should be peeled, seeds removed and finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 4.8:1, Pro: 0.6%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 89%, Fiber: 1.8%

STAPLE FRUIT Parsley Good source of calcium. Finely chop. Ca:P 2.4:1 , Pro: 3%, Fat: 0.8%, Water: 88%, Fiber: 3.3%

OCCASIONAL Parsnip Should be peeled and shredded. Very good source of fiber and carbohydrates. Ca:P 1:2, Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 80%, Fiber: 4.9%

STAPLE VEGGIE Pasta (cooked) Should be cooked, cooled and chopped. Use pasta made without egg. Ca:P 0.1:1 , Pro: 5.2%, Fat: 1%, Water: 69%

OCCASIONAL Peaches High goitrogens. Should be peeled, pits removed and finely chopped. Ca:P 0.4:1, Pro: 0.7%, Fat: 0.09%, Water: 88%, Fiber: 2%

OCCASIONAL Pears High in oxalates. Should be peeled, cored and finely chopped. Ca:P 1:1, Pro: 0.4%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 84%, Fiber: 2.4%

OCCASIONAL Pumpkin Rind should be discarded. Core and finely chop or shred. Ca:P 0.5:1 , Pro: 1%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 0.5%

OCCASIONAL Raspberries Excellent source of extra fiber content. Should be crushed for smaller iguanas. Larger iguanas can be fed whole rasberries. Ca:P 1.8:1, Pro: 0.9%, Fat: 0.6%, Water: 87%, Fiber: 6.8%

OCCASIONAL AND/OR TREAT Rice (cooked) Should be cooked, drained, and cooled. Ca:P 0.08:1 , Pro: 2.4%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 68%

OCCASIONAL Rutabaga Should be peeled and finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.8:1 , Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 90%, Fiber: 2.5%

OCCASIONAL Snap peas Should be finely chopped. Ca:P 0.1:1, Pro: 0.8%, Fat: 0.04%

STAPLE VEGGIE Spaghetti squash Should be peeled, cored and finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.6:1 , Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 94%, Fiber: 1.9%

OCCASIONAL Spinach High in calcium, but very high in oxalates and goitrogens, so it should only be fed occasionally. Should be finely chopped. Ca:P 2:1, Pro: 2.9%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2.7%

OCCASIONAL Strawberries High in oxalates and goitrogens. Remove stems and caps and finely chop. Ca:P 0.7:1, Pro: 0.6%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 2.3%

OCCASIONAL AND/OR TREAT Sweet potato Should be peeled and very finely shredded. Fairly high in phosphorus, so best used as a substitute for other orange veggies occasionally. Ca:P 0.8:1, Pro: 1.7%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 73%, Fiber: 3%

OCCASIONAL Swiss chard Very high in oxalates and should only be fed occasionally. Should be finely chopped. Ca:P 1.8:1, Pro: 0.2%, Fat: 0.1%

OCCASIONAL Tomatoes High in oxalates. Should be finely chopped. Great for adding color to a mixture of food. Can be acidic and some iguanas may not like the taste. Ca:P 0.2:1, Pro: 0.9%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 94%, Fiber: 1.1%

COLOR/TASTE ENHANCER Turnip greens Decent choice for greens. Very high in calcium, although somewhat high in goitrogens. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop, shred, or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 4.5:1, Pro: 1.5%, Fat: 0.3%, Water: 91%, Fiber: 3.2%

STAPLE GREEN (WHEN MIXED WITH OTHER GREENS) Watercress Excellent choice for greens and very high in calcium. Best when cut into larger pieces or strips. Finely chop or discard stems. Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag. Ca:P 2:1, Pro: 2%, Fat: 0%

STAPLE GREEN Watermelon Very little nutrition, but an excellent source for additional water content. Remove rinds and cut or crush into small pieces. Ca:P 0.9:1, Pro: 0.6%, Fat: 0.4%, Water: 92%, Fiber: 0.5%

OCCASIONAL Whole wheat bread Very high in phosphorus, but makes for a great treat. A great food to hide and feed liquid medications. Ca:P 0.3:1 , Pro: 9.7%, Fat: 4.2%, Water: 38%, Fiber: 6.9%

GREAT TREAT Yellow squash Should be very finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.57:1, Pro: 1.2%, Fat: 0.2%, Water: 94%, Fiber: 1.9%

OCCASIONAL Yucca root (Cassava) Very tough. Should be peeled, washed, boiled and mashed. Raw yucca may contain chemicals that cause digestive upset. Ca:P 1:1.7, Pro: 1.36%, Fat: 0.28%, Water: 59.7%, Fiber: 1.8%

STAPLE VEGGIE Zucchini Should be very finely chopped or shredded. Ca:P 0.47:1, Pro: 1.1%, Fat: 0.1%, Water: 95%, Fiber: 1.2%


Source

Knowledge is the Key

Researching iguanas before adopting them is something everyone who wants to own an iguana should do. So many people purchase them and do not take proper care of them. With a little knowledge, you can have a happy healthy iguana to love for many years to come.

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Comments 1 comment

Connie 4 years ago

I love this hub voted up. I have an iggy and this will save me loads of money. Thank you Author

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